Vaculex has developed specialized lifting solutions for de-palletizing which has all the flexibility necessary to perform the task within the Distribution Center.
Starbucks announced Thursday it will expand on its existing distribution center in York, Pa., making York the largest Starbucks distribution center in the world come September. It’ll also be next to one of the largest coffee roasting plants in the world — the Starbucks York Roasting Plant.
De-palletizing is often a very repetitive activity where the risks for repetitive strain injuries are high. To automate the de-palletizing process is often not the optimal solution in a Distribution Center due to space and flexibility reasons.
Flexible palletizing solutions might sometimes be necessary at Distribution Centers. Although this is not among the most frequent activities at a Distribution Centers the risk for repetitive strain injuries when performing this task is high.
Walmart Import Distribution Center Network in the United States
Walmart currently operates 8 Import distribution center buildings in 5 locations around the United States totaling 15.5 Million square feet. These massive facilities are positioned close to major U.S. ports located in Long Beach, Houston, Savannah, Norfolk and Chicago. Each import center receives containers of merchandise from Asia Pacific (and the rest of the world) and then redistributes this merchandise to the company’s regional general merchandise and grocery distribution centers within its region. Thus these facilities are not designed to ship directly to stores.
For most of these facilities, Walmart’s labor strategy has been to outsource these operations to third party logistics providers that use staffing agencies to recruit warehouse associates. This labor strategy is not unique to Walmart and this approach is typically used to establish an arm’s length relationship with the labor force. Unfortunately, the intense pressure to drive operating expenses down often places the third party logistics provider in a difficult position where they have no choice but to place increasing demands on the labor force to obtain increased productivity at a reduced operating expense. Ultimately this pressure can backfire resulting in labor-related issues that generate negative publicity for the retailer. This was exactly the case for Walmart in 2012 at two of its import distribution center campuses operated by Schneider Logistics in Mira Loma, CA and Elwood, IL.
Lastly, over the years Walmart has vacated several import distribution center buildings in Mira Loma, CA and Savannah, GA. Below is a list of current import distribution centers in the United States.